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Posted 11 Sep 2015

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Split Any Delimited String in SQL

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11 Sep 2015CPOL
This is an alternative for "Split Any Delimited String in SQL"
It's still not a very good solution ("any" is most inaccurate), but here's a Recursive Common Table Expression way to do it.
CREATE FUNCTION dbo.fnSimpleSplit 
( @InputString NVARCHAR(MAX)
, @Delimiter   NCHAR(1)
  -- SELECT * FROM dbo.fnSimpleSplit ( 'Apple, Mango, Orange, Pineapple' , ',' )

  WITH cte AS
    SELECT CAST(NULL AS NVARCHAR(MAX)) val , @InputString + @Delimiter s , CHARINDEX(@Delimiter,@InputString) offset
    SELECT SUBSTRING(s,1,offset-1) , SUBSTRING(s,offset+1,LEN(s)) , CHARINDEX(@Delimiter,s,offset+1)-offset
    FROM cte
    WHERE offset>0
  SELECT val
  FROM cte


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


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Software Developer (Senior)
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BSCS 1992 Wentworth Institute of Technology

Originally from the Boston (MA) area. Lived in SoCal for a while. Now in the Phoenix (AZ) area.

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Comments and Discussions

QuestionA Possible Alternative Pin
David A. Gray14-Sep-15 10:10
MemberDavid A. Gray14-Sep-15 10:10 
It seems to me that string splitting is the sort of activity that begs for implementation as an extended stored procedure. A great starting point for one would be my AnyCSV class library, described and published, with source code, in A Robust CSV Reader.

Rather than tackle a whole file full of delimited strings, this class confines itself to robust processing of single strings. The name, AnyCSV, is a tad misleading, because it handles any delimited string, although the defaults are geared towards standard CSV strings. Limiting it to processing one string makes this class ideal for use in situations that require processing a one-off string, as you might encounter in a stored procedure. On the other hand, it can just as easily be embedded in a loop or using block to process the records read from a stream.

Moreover, you have a choice of using static methods that include overrides that permit all of the operating parameters that govern its behavior to be overridden, or an instance that stores values for all of the parameters that should remain unchanged throughout the processing of a set of strings, such as the contents of a file. Storing the parameters in an instance makes calling the instance Parse method trivial; the only parameter is the string to be processed.

Regardless of how you use it, the parser returns an array of System.String objects, easily marshaled into native SQL Server strings. If I had a need for such a thing, the ESP would already exist. Wink | ;)
AnswerRe: A Possible Alternative Pin
PIEBALDconsult14-Sep-15 18:37
professionalPIEBALDconsult14-Sep-15 18:37 
GeneralRe: A Possible Alternative Pin
David A. Gray15-Sep-15 13:14
MemberDavid A. Gray15-Sep-15 13:14 
GeneralRe: A Possible Alternative Pin
PIEBALDconsult15-Sep-15 13:29
professionalPIEBALDconsult15-Sep-15 13:29 
GeneralRe: A Possible Alternative Pin
David A. Gray15-Sep-15 13:55
MemberDavid A. Gray15-Sep-15 13:55 
GeneralRe: A Possible Alternative Pin
Jovan Popovic(MSFT)16-Sep-15 5:23
MemberJovan Popovic(MSFT)16-Sep-15 5:23 
GeneralRe: A Possible Alternative Pin
PIEBALDconsult16-Sep-15 6:20
professionalPIEBALDconsult16-Sep-15 6:20 
GeneralRe: A Possible Alternative Pin
David A. Gray16-Sep-15 9:40
MemberDavid A. Gray16-Sep-15 9:40 
GeneralRe: A Possible Alternative Pin
PIEBALDconsult16-Sep-15 12:45
professionalPIEBALDconsult16-Sep-15 12:45 

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